VA's IG criticizes some IT programs, claims major savings

VA IG's Semiannual Report to Congress gives overview of past six months

The Veterans Affairs Department’s Office of Inspector General has questioned the progress of some IT programs in a report that also claimed that the office's efforts had resulted in $1.2 billion in savings, avoided costs and other monetary benefits in a six-month period.

According to its Semiannual Report to Congress, the IG's office also reviewed several contracting and IT programs at VA. Those reviews found that:

  • Ineffective controls over cost, schedule and performance could threaten the viability of a pilot project of the Financial and Logistics Integrated Technology Enterprise program for strategic asset management.
  • Teleradiology contracts lack information security protections and oversight.
  • Providing employees with secure credentials under Homeland Security Presidential Directive 12 is nearly two years behind schedule.

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The report also states that 682 previous recommendations made by the IG's office remain open, without corrective actions completed to date. Seventy-six of those recommendations have been open for a year or longer.

George Opfer, VA's IG, published the report Nov. 30. It covers the period from April 1 to Sept. 30.

Oversight work performed by IG's Office of Audits and Evaluations found that in fiscal 2009 the Veterans Health Administration made net overpayments of $120 million on inpatient care for veterans at non-VA facilities, the report states. Without changes to the payment process, those problems could result in overpayments of more than $600 million in the next five years.

The IG recommended consolidating the claims-processing system for non-VA inpatient care for an estimated cost savings of $134 million in the next five years.

The report did not include comments from VA officials.

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

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